Miriam Carey, a 34 year-old dental hygienist from Stanford, Connecticut, should have known better. She made a fatal mistake in judgment when she decided to run. You do not run away from the police in America; and certainly not in close proximity to government buildings.
However, when one watches the videos featuring the incident, free from the exaggerated interpretations of the TV commentators and pundits, a disturbing picture emerges; one quite different from the developing official narratives.
An unarmed and terror stricken mother, with a year old baby in the car, acts irrationally when stopped at a checkpoint in DC. Moments later, seeing a number of policemen pointing their guns at her, she panics and attempts to run for her life by breaking the police ambush. In a chase that followed she was gunned down and killed.
Miriam Carey might have suffered from a mental illness, but she was not a threat to the White House. There is no need to look for an evil intent or sinister motive in her erratic behavior. Let's not turn an unfortunate victim of awkward circumstances into a criminal, or a terrorist only to justify the unnecessary killing of a desperate woman, most likely acting out of her motherly instinct for the safety of her baby.
I cannot join the cheering crowd, or approve of the overblown narratives of the TV pundits. I saw no threat to the Capitol or the President. Neither did I see any trace of heroism in the quick-to-kill action of the police. I will not applaud the death of this woman as if we were witnessing yet another victory for our public safety. I cannot help but be suspicious of any official narrative that will try to justify the unnecessary use of deadly force.
This is yet another tragic story of an ordinary person's life counting for nothing, as if it were a disposable commodity; dismantled at will by the overzealous authorities and prostituted by the mainstream media. But the truly tragic story is yet to emerge: the fate of the child who witnessed the execution of her mother in the cynical set of circumstances that should have and could have ended differently.
Today I remember another police chase that took place in some dark allies of West Melbourne in Australia nineteen years ago. In a new car, with my three children with me, I was running away from a pursuing car. Driving through the night I thought that I was being chased by some criminal characters. Long minutes had passed before we reached a well-lit street, and then I realized that the blinking lights behind me were those of an unmarked police car.
I slowed down indicating that I was intending to stop, allowing the police car to stop behind me. Immediately I walked to the police car apologizing to the officers for not stopping sooner. I honestly admitted that until a moment ago I was not sure who was pursuing me, and that as soon as I realized it was a police car I decided to stop. They talked with me for a while, saw my children in the car, believed me and released me without pressing any charges against me. To this day I remember how kind and polite both police officers were towards me.
Today, nineteen years later, I am glad that this incident happened in Australia, and at the time when it was obvious that the primary role of the police was to serve their communities. If this were to happen in the USA I wonder if I would ever live to have the chance to apologize and explain my story?